Uncle Otto's Octoberfest Marzen | Portland Brewing Company

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Uncle Otto's Octoberfest MarzenUncle Otto's Octoberfest Marzen
26 Ratings
Uncle Otto's Octoberfest MarzenUncle Otto's Octoberfest Marzen

Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: German Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-26-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 26 |  Reviews: 26
Reviews by TheDM:
Photo of TheDM
4.14/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured a medium head of finely sized light brown slowly diminishing bubbles that left a slight lacing and a hazy transparent light brown uncarbonated body behind. THis brew also has a very nice aroma to it with notes of malted caramel and brown sugar sweetness to it. Oh my, the taste is also very fine with a nice combination of malt and roasted caramel notes to it. its mouthfeel is very smooth and plesant. A very nice brew indeed. My compliments to the brewmaster.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
2.86/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Beautiful dark copper body with a fluffy, lacing head.

Smell – This one has a sweet malt aroma. The lightly-toasted malts are complimented by maple, sugar, and even a little baked bread.

Taste – Ouch! This one is off a bit. The creamy malt flavor that was in the nose and that is supposed to be in the taste is stomped by the extraordinary sweetness of this Oktoberfest offering. It almost tastes like a flat coke. It’s very artificial, forced, and quite unnatural. The flavor lab was busy with this bier.

Mouthfeel – Little carbonation and light to medium in the body.

Drinkability – I thought this clearly missed the style. Putting that aside, it still wasn’t very good.

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Photo of cokes
3.51/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber under a beige cap that quickly divides to a skimming.
Odd nose of caramel taffy, brown sugar, with ghosty herbal hops. It would be rather aromatic, if it didn't seem artificial.
Taste begins in the caramel direction, fading quickly to toastiness. Touches of chocolate. Rounded graininess and lagered cleanness dominate the middle. Interesting floral/herbal hop finale, which is equal parts rose-petal and dried, savory herb.
Shy of medium bodied, nice session possibilities.
Decent and uniquely hopped, but the malt profile needs work.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer had a medium sized tan head that consisted of fine-small sized bubbles that quickly diminished.The bodywas slightly cloudy and there was no carbonation.The hue reminded me of cider and there was very little lacing with this beer.The nose was sweet as sugar and malty.The flavor of this beer was malty and the mouthfeel was smooth, thin, tingly and light bodied.

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Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A deep transpicuous burnished copper with an average sized head, frothy and light tan in color as it vanishes quickly it leaves a very thin bit of lace to attempt a covering. Nose is mostly malt, hint of caramel, sweet and pleasant enough with nice malt and lightly sweet start, top is thin to medium in feel. At the finish the hops are spicy and the acidity persistent, dry aftertaste, an average beer, nothing that gets me excited, but hell it takes a real “Killer Beer” to do that these days.

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Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber red with a creamy and moderately thick tan head, lively carbonation. Thick and sticky lace coats the glass walls. Aroma of toasted malt flavors, bread notes, and herbal hops. Taste begins with sweet malts, gives way to mildly bitter hops, finishes with somewhat more intense toasted malt flavors. A very nice example of a great beer style.

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Photo of marc77
3.89/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear dark bronze hue, covered by a thick, rocky, well retained light tan head that leaves lace. Floral and slightly herbal noble hop nose upfront in aroma, followed by notes of buttery biscuit and subdued Munich malt. A bit tame maltwise in aroma. Rich, dark caramel sweetness is perceived at first, then is followed by a lightly toasty middle. Malt profile is contrasted by a surprisingly assertive, but pleasant herbal and spicy perhaps Spalt hop flavor. Hop bitterness is mild, lending a lightly sweet overall balance. Moderate in body, w/ a dextrinous, slick somewhat oily mouthfeel characteristic to Portland brews-- it works well for this style, however. Finishes caramelly sweet w/ bready malt lingering on the palate. Uncle Otto is a surprisingly enjoyable ofest, and is a unique take on the style. Not complex maltwise, but the refined hop profile added a pleasant twist. Excellent drinkability.

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Photo of Mark
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very clear copper color was topped by a short lived bubbly head. lacing was minimal. Light sweet caramel aroma, sweetish taste that seemed a bit fruity too. Thin bodied but drinkable as a session type beer. We bought it to go with our pizza tonight. It was a good match but Marzen or Lager in general does very little for me any more.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought in the 12 oz brown bottle..with a rather cheery label.
A very nice looking beer..nice darkish amber colour..with an absolutly gorgeous coffee and creme coloured head.
A great fresh maltyaroma in this..sort of english toffee smell.
Wow this is a malt lovers beer for sure, it dominates with its creamt goodness..its not too sweet though..slight chocolate tatse..with a hint of hops near the end.
Exceptionally smooth and creamy on the palate.
A very nice and extremely drinkable Marzen..recommended.

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Photo of Indybeer
3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle. Poured a reddish amber color, with a moderate head, and some lacing on the glass. Aroma is of malt and yeast, and hops. Taste is sweet, so much so that it overpowers all else but the hop bitterness. As it warmed, it became almost to much.
Nothing there to balance the sweetness and hops.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish amber with a nice tannish head / leaves lots of lace. Light hop aroma at first replaced by a nice toasty aroma. Light nutiness and spicy malt character. Medium bodied but leans towards the light side.

Per Mc.T website/M.J. notes:
- Gold - 2001 GABF
- 13.0-14.0 O.G. (1052 Specific Gravity)
- 23 IBU
- Mt. Hood and Saaz hops

2002 version (McTarnahan's B.Co. on label)
Tasted: 10/22/02

2003 version (Portland B.Co. on label)
Tasted: 11/13/03

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Photo of barleypop
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a transparent copper or burnt orange colour with a very minimal head. The nose was ripe with sweet caramel notes and the promise of a malty punch. To my surprise the hops are what really jumped out at me. A hop bite in an Oktoberfest? This is not a typical O-fest. I did enjoy this departure from style. It could have been a bit more balanced but overall a nice brew. If having an O-fest tasting I recommend having this in the lineup for a change of pace.

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Photo of Bruiser81
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color was a dark amber color with a big fluffy white head. Lacing was all over the place.
Smell was decent, lots of sweet malt. Hints of caramel and a slight toastiness. Kind of soft. Some dark fruit hidden deep.
Taste was kind of mellow, but not bad. Sweet up front with a strong malty presence. The middle contained lightly toasted malt with a bready flavor. A slight hops bitterness comes into play during the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel was medium-full and went down smooth.
I wouldn't say this beer was bland just kind of mellow. A decent drinkable brew.

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Photo of packetknife
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Regular amber, transparent. Light tan dense foam that faded quickly. Smelled like toffee. Tasted of roasted walnuts and other nuts, not expected, across two bottles, not bad though. Very hoppy aftertaste that lingered forever. Nothing really unique or special IMO, pretty average.

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Photo of beerguy101
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium copper color, small head. A medium bodied Marzen style ale. Rich slightly sweet malt flavor, with a nice spicy hoppyness. Smooth taste. Full flavor. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty and slightly sweet.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. Purchased in 2003.

The most transparent copper colored beer I have ever seen. It is like looking through a copper colored window. Not many bubbles interfere with the view. The head was small and off white. Very poor lacing. The scents are sweet apples. Some brown sugar with a wheat biscuit smell at the end. The scents seem a little mixed up.

Flavors are sweet. Caramel and raisin dominate. There are hints of chocolate in the back round. A few floral hops find there way out. Some spices are nice and they wake up the taste buds. A tangy sweet flavor takes us home. I don't think this beer knows which direction it wants to go. The flavors are nice they just do not blend too well.

Mouthfeel is close to medium bodied. A nice crisp finish. It could prove to be a session beer.

I feel this beer is shy. It needs to be a little bolder. Mellow beers are great but this one is hiding from us. A slight tweak here or there and this could be a great beer.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The head is medium-sized, yellowish/creamy, noisy. Some spots of soap lacing. The beer is a clear, red/brown. Dark, pretty. A sweet, toffee, caramely, creamy nose. Nice. Sweet, sweet, dark toffee front leads to a thinnish, tangy, candy middle. Creamy at temperature. The finish is fruity with a touch of chocolate. Some alcohol in the aftertaste. This is good. It's a touch sweet for me, but tasty. Much better when the creaminess kicks in at warmer temperatures.

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Photo of woemad
4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Jim's Homebrew in Spokane. Poured a dark amber color with a big off-white head that hung around for a couple of minutes. The smell is dominated by a malty sweetness. One can also detect the taste of caramel and a fruitiness like a golden delicious apple. Its flavor almost reminded me of some doppelbocks I've had. It went down nicely. The sweet maltiness was accompanied by the apple and caramel flavor, with a very minor hop bite. This is a very drinkable brew.

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Photo of ZAP
4.45/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love Octoberfests and this is a dandy...Very smooth and creamy tasting..very nice maltiness with minimal hopping (just the way I like my Octoberfests)..Very interesting maltiness..me and my brother did a blind taste test with a dozen Octoberfest this past fall and this was one of the higher rated ones..I can think of only one Octoberfest I like better and about 5 or 6 in the same ball park....in other words this is a top-notch Octoberfest..

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Photo of budgood1
2.83/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

pours out a very deep and dark amber....tan fluffy head leaves festive rings of lace. interesting aroma to this o-fest...sweetish malts..spicy hoppiness...but the overall impression i get is a vegetable undertone that comes off as slight pumpkin pie spice or squash. very strange. the taste is of caramel maltiness but the other flavors create a jumbled mess confusion. like a pumpkin pie gone wrong....cinnamon toast...caramel rolls...hops and malt. now these are all nuances usually appreciated in beers of this style, but it just doesn't work for me. this isn't a bad beer, just jumbled. oktoberfests should be somewhat one dimensional, but this beer is schizophrenic. experimental and brave. there are many other o-fest i'd rather drink.

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Photo of Starchild
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice head and classic Marzen copper. Ring of foam surrounding the rim. Mild dough backbone that’s slightly bitter. Where’s the complexity? I really don’t have much to say about this one. A bit of sweet carmel but nothing earth shattering. This beer is quite smooth but it is not as interesting as most in the style and does not really try to do anything new.

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Photo of BeerAngel
2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber/brown with a large cream-colored head. The aromas of burnt roasted malt and a light sweet smell. The taste is rather light, maybe a bit too light, and consists of a lightly sweetened fruit taste with burnt toast in the background. It is under-hopped in my opinion for this style. Although it is not bad, it is sub-par for the style and definitely too sweet. Uncle Otto needs to hop it up and ferment it longer. Cheers!

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has been sitting just above freezing for at least a year in my fridge, so it will be interesting to see how the malt/hop balance has changed.

Appearance: As you would expect from the long lagering, the beer is super clear. It poured with about 1/4" of head that fell to a thin layer on the beer that is sustained by quite a few bubbles rising. It is a rich reddish orange color that definitely has more of a red tint than the majority of the Oktoberfest beers that I have tried. It looks more like a light Bock.

Aroma: There is some serious toasty notes going on in the aroma. Lots of Munich malts with some caramel thrown in. I don't pick out any hops at this point. I am pleased that I don't pick up any noticeable oxidative flavors after aging such a light beer for so long. There is a faint hint of sherry, but it is not annoying, and just gives the impression of a stronger beer.

Taste: It tastes pretty good...considering. It has it's malty face on the entire time. I may get a bit of the hops in the bittering, but any aromas are long gone. It finishes with a slight sweet note leaving the toasty notes to linger in your throat well after the finish. The mouthfeel is still there, and makes the beer really drinkable. There is a generous malt bill here, but the still assertive carbonation makes it go down really smooth.

Opinion: I really enjoyed this beer. I think that I like it now better than when I first put it in the fridge. Most Oktoberfests that come from the US are weak and watery. This one actually comes closer to what you would taste in Germany. It would be hard to compare it to Paulaner, but for an American interpretation of a German style, it isn't too bad. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of Shaw
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful amber colored beer. It pours with a tan head that quickly vanishes. Its smells of malt and just a hint of hops.

Uncle Otto's Octoberfest tastes quite malty, in line with other Octoberfests. It's not too sweet, though. The flavor is bolder than some other domestic Marzens, which is a big plus. It is a very clean tasting brew, without any off flavors. That's to be expected, coming from good old Portland, Oregon, the craft brewing capital of the country.

This is one of the better American Octoberfests.

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Photo of Morris729
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish amber color with about two fingers worth of a creamy light tan colored head that dissipates into a heavy and sticky lace. Nose is fresh and fruity with notes of sweet malt, berries, citrus, and freshly baked banana bread. Very pleasant! Medium in body and quite smooth and creamy in the mouth. Lots of sweet malt flavor up front followed by notes of candied fruit and fresh bread. Very little hop bitterness is present, but there is a bit of an acidic citrus bite in the end leaving a dry finish. Probably the sweetest Oktoberfest I’ve ever had. Definitely worth a try if you haven’t sampled this brew before.

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Uncle Otto's Octoberfest Marzen from Portland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 26 ratings